The Friday E-Pistle (March 14, 2014)

A message from Bishop Vásquez

Diocese launches Pastoral Plan survey

For our Pastoral Plan to be successful, we need input from you, the faithful in our diocese. Your perspective and input are very valuable to the planning process. Please take a few minutes to complete an electronic survey about your view of the future of our diocese in the next three to five years. The survey will remain available through April 27.

Please invite your Catholic family members and friends to complete the survey. Also invite Catholics who are no longer active in parish life.

For those who do not have access to the Internet, parishes may download English or Spanish copies of the survey and make them available in the bulletin, in the narthex or distribute them after Mass. There are additional ideas to distribute the survey on the diocesan website.

Note: All survey responses will be entered electronically into the “survey monkey” tool. Parishes are encouraged to help input the data from paper surveys into the electronic tool or send the surveys to the diocese. You may contact the Pastoral Plan Core Team at or at the Pastoral Center mailing address.

Special collection: March 29-30

On the weekend of March 29-30, all parishes in the Diocese of Austin are to take up a special collection for Catholic Relief Services. The following announcement should be read before all Masses that weekend:

  • This weekend we will take up the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Collection, which helps children, women and families around the world. The six worldwide organizations supported by the collection provide immediate humanitarian aid, pastoral support and disaster relief to our suffering brothers and sisters around the globe. This collection offers an opportunity for each of us to help Jesus in disguise. Please give generously to the Catholic Relief Services collection.
  • Este fin de semana se tomará la colecta para Servicios de Asistencia Católicos, que ayudan a niños, mujeres y familias en todo el mundo. Las seis organizaciones mundiales que reciben financiamiento de la Colecta proporcionan ayuda humanitaria inmediata, apoyo pastoral y auxilio en casos de desastre a nuestros sufridos hermanos y hermanas alrededor del mundo.  Esta colecta nos ofrece la oportunidad a cada uno de nosotros de ayudar a Jesús con otro rostro. Por favor, contribuyan generosamente a la Catholic Relief Services Collection.

For more information, visit Catholic Relief Services at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website.

Chrism Mass

  • This year’s Chrism Mass will be celebrated at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin on April 15 at 10:30 a.m. All parishes should properly dispose of last year’s consecrated oils prior to the Chrism Mass. The oils may be removed from their particular stocks and used on the new fire of the Easter Vigil or buried. Please do not return used oil stocks to the diocesan Worship Office. Please remember that the Code of Canon Law 847 suppressed by omission the permission to add unblessed oil to that which is already blessed; therefore, you may not add oil to blessed or consecrated oil.
  • The Office of Worship is preparing new oils to be consecrated by Bishop Vásquez at the Chrism Mass. The standard order includes 2 oz. of the Oil of the Sick; 2 oz. of the Oil of the Catechumen and 2 oz. of Sacred Chrism. This year, parish orders for oils can be placed online.  If you need other information regarding your order, please contact Cheryl Maxwell. The deadline for ordering oils is March 31.


Reflection question

Gospel Meditation

Please consider using the following meditation for the Third Sunday of Lent (March 23):

  • In Jesus’ time Samaritans and Jews did not get along. What’s more, in that time, men and women who were not related were to avoid each other. In today’s Gospel, Jesus was countercultural and broke those rules. Doesn’t it seem that sometimes just being Catholic can be countercultural? Pray for the strength to live out our Catholic faith and for those who are persecuted for our Catholic faith.
  • En el tiempo de Jesús, Samaritanos y Judíos no tenían buenas relaciones. Aún más, en esa época, hombres y mujeres que no eran familiares debían evitarse unos a otros. En el Evangelio de hoy, Jesús fue contra la cultura y rompió esas reglas ¿No parece a veces que ser Católico es ir contra la cultura actual? Ore por la fuerza para vivir su fe Católica y por aquellos que son perseguidos por nuestra fe Católica.


Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center

March 22: Contemplating the Presence of God in Our Daily Lives

Take time to reflect on personal aspects of your life that help identify who you are as you acknowledge and embrace the presence of the Holy Spirit within you. Wanda Gibson, spiritual director and recent graduate of the Diocesan Institute of Ecclesial Ministry, will present this retreat on March 22. Cost is $35. Click here to register.

April 11-13: Healing Our Image of God

Father Matt Linn will present the Healing Our Image of God retreat, April 11-13. This is an opportunity to be healed of the distorted images we have of God and embrace the unconditional love and mercy that await each of us. Only shared rooms are available for this retreat; the cost is $160. If you desire a private room, call or e-mail to be put on a waiting list if they become available. First come, first served. Commuters pay $85. Click here to register.


Weekly notes

Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention

Please consider Bishop Vásquez’ prayer intention for the Third Sunday of Lent (March 23):

  • For an increase in the belief of the True Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist …
  • Por un incremento en la creencia de la Verdadera Presencia de Jesucristo en la Eucaristía...


Upcoming EIM Basic and Refresher Workshops

EIM Basic and Refresher Workshops are scheduled on a quarterly basis by the EIM Office, coordinating with the EIM site administrator at parishes, schools and other diocesan agencies. Staff of any site wishing to host a workshop must coordinate with their EIM site administrator. The EIM site administrator should make all workshop requests on the Workshop Request Table. Additional workshops will not be added to the EIM workshop calendar unless the EIM Office determines a particular need. EIM site administrators may direct inquiries about EIM workshop scheduling to Emily Hurlimann or Colleen Schiller in the EIM Office at (512) 949-2400.

For general information about EIM Basic or Refresher workshops, please click here.

Anyone needing an EIM workshop will sign up online through their EIM account. The sign-up process is explained once you access your EIM account; please contact your parish or Catholic school EIM site administrator if you need assistance or if you do not have Internet access.

Click here to login to your EIM account in order to find the schedule of EIM workshops and to sign up. Instructions are provided in case you do not recall how to login to your EIM account.


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